The Pagan and the Pope

So, we have a new Pope. Now, as a Pagan it might seem that I shouldn’t have much to say on the subject, but the size and wealth of the Catholic Church inclines me to feel that this has at least the potential for major impact. I live in hope. From the news this morning I understand that, in his former life, Pope Francis used the bus, did his own shopping, cooked his own meals and went into slums. He spoke in favour of baptising the children of unmarried mothers. I gather he’s not pro gay marriage or women Bishops, but I can’t see they’d have let anyone that radical into the top job. By all accounts, our new Pope cares about poverty and the environment. The question is, will he act on that, or will he let the corporate Vatican tame him? Keep him in your prayers, because if he’s half of what he seems to be, he’s going to need all the well wishing he can get.

There is an issue that lies under poverty, and under environmental problems, and that issue is population. Without talking about birth rates, and the implications of those for child poverty and death in the developing world, no real change can happen. There’s the aids crisis to consider, too. Education of women, rights for women – if all you do is squeeze out babies, this is a moot point. Currently the Catholic Church does not approve of contraception.

What the world desperately needs is a Pope with the courage, compassion and humanity to get up and use that infallible Popeness to good effect. He could decide that Jesus wants us all to be a bit less fruitful so that we can properly take care of the children we’ve got. He could change much of the world, and the lives of a great many people living in it. He could give countless families opportunity to escape poverty, and to build better lives for themselves, and a more manageable, planned number of offspring. He could help reduce the spread of aids, and he could radically impact on the viability of us as a species. Not many people get that much power.

Furthermore, we all know the Catholic Church is obscenely wealthy. Here is a man who has professed that as a Christian, he chooses poverty, and who through his work has shown a willingness to try and alleviate the abject and intolerable levels of poverty others suffer. How much power does he now have? How much wealth? How far is he willing to go?

Let’s hope he’s as good as he sounds, and as able to resist the allure of power and wealth as possible. Active compassion in the Vatican could make a world of difference.

About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, polyamourous animist, ant-fash, anti-capitalist, bisexual steampunk. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings. Exploring life as a Pagan, seeking good and meaningful ways to be, struggling with mental health issues and worried about many things. View all posts by Nimue Brown

7 responses to “The Pagan and the Pope

  • K

    He won’t support birth control. He already openly rejected it.

  • Daughter RavynStar

    I am reminded of the saying, “With great power comes great responsibility”. Hopefully for the millions of people the RCC influences and leads, this new Pope sets an enlightened example and leaves a positive legacy. Time will tell…

  • Donna Donovan

    Very well said. I see the uproar against the new Pope concerning his anti-gay marriage stance…but like you said, the Church wouldn’t let anyone too radical up top. He does appear, at least at first, to be a more humble man…caring about his flock and the world they live in. So I hold out hope too that this will beneficial to us all.

  • Tammy Shaver

    And from what I read also has a good sense of humor which I admire

  • Treeshrew

    His views on poverty and social justice are encouraging, but his homophobia and stance on reproductive rights are the same as the last guy. I think he might be a slight improvement, but I wouldn’t hold my breath for any real change.

  • thewysewoman

    I hope that he continues his stance on poverty and kicks some backsides in the curia. It is encouraging that he takes his inspiration from St Francis of Assisi but only time will tell if he really can/wants to change things.

    I converted from RC to Druidry as the bigoted tenants of this faith no longer made any sense to me and my view of the world. If he were to do half of what Christ himself in his own words said, and less of what the Roman Catholic Church has taken onto itself to proclaim in his name we might just get somewhere! The Celtic Church lost the battle with the Roman Church way back, and that is why it is like it is. If I remember the problem was the pelagius heresy which spilt the church, but there where other fundamental differences in interpretation as well as the fact that the Celtic church allowed women priests.For the patriarchal anit-women that was the last straw!

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